Monthly Archives: November 2011

Great Expectations

I remember when I was very poorly. When I hadn’t left my bed for a very long time, and long before I was able to sit up in a wheelchair, that even in my dreams I was bedbound. All of my dreams at night consisted of me lying in my bed waiting for the day to be over, (yes truly it was pleasure overload. Many people talk about being so scared at night they wake themselves from a dream-but have you ever done it from sheer boredom? Some nights I’d be like “well thank god I chose a nice set of pyjamas, that’ll give me something to keep me busy-ooh that’s a nice bedspread, wonder if I can get it in pink”. Its all rock n roll in Carrie’s world of dreams I can assure you baby….)

What worried me most about this was that I knew on some level that if I couldn’t even imagine myself getting better anymore then I was in real trouble. If I had subconsciously given up then the answer or cure would always remain elusive.

I didn’t know what the answer was, so I used to pretend. I’d do things like shut my eyes and pretend I was shopping, or turn on the tele and pretend I was there. When I started to get better at that I’d take it a bit further-ridiculous facebook statuses such as announcing I was “off for a jog” dishonest? Yes. Deluded? Entirely, but after a while I started dreaming I was out with people in the world, dancing, laughing, working. And it made me feel a hell of a lot more hopeful I can tell you…

It is entirely possible that you don’t sit as firmly on the left side of crazy as I do. And I will respect that. But I have to say that this experience taught me an incredibly valuable lesson: my results are only ever as great as my expectations will allow. When I was in the wheelchair I pretended I was walking. When I was walking very badly I pretended I was doing it like the pro’s on the catwalk do. It really mentally got me out of those situations where I would otherwise keep myself small by following that voice inside me that said logically I wouldnt get any further than where I now stood in life.

I do still battle with thoughts that I don’t deserve a really nice life, someone to love me for who I am/ a brilliant job/as many pretty dresses as one wadrobe can handle. It also took me a long time to realise I deserve more than just good health. That I was worth more than having just enough energy to cope with life. That I should expect to be able to work full time and have a great social life AND a beautiful place to live AND go on lovely holidays. That my spare time should be spent out and about seeing the world and loving it. That I can live on a couple of hours sleep a night and then forget about my bed altogether. It’s normal, people do it everyday without thinking twice. I had to pretend my ass off for a LONG time before I really believed any of this stuff-trust me…

I don’t believe anyone has to be bedbound or in a wheelchair to want a better life. I think we can start telling ourselves a better story right here and now. I think we can tweak that story everyday until we believe it so much we aren’t even remotely surprised when it becomes a reality. I think the more we do it the easier it gets. And I KNOW as the stories get bigger and more elaborate the better my life gets. So here’s to your Once Upon. A Time. I hope it has the best Happy Ever After you can dream of.

C xx

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The Bit They Don’t Tell You

The main reason I set this place up was to give people the opportunity to have something I never had-namely evidence that it’s entirely possible to go from being totally dependant on others and very sick indeed, to complete independence and a life better than the one you had before you even got sick in the first place. And in the spirit of this I want to share a few things that you might not want to hear. But it’s stuff l wish someone had told me… So here’s a few to be getting on with.

When you get to the point that you’re physically well enough to leave the house and start your life again properly-you’re going to wish you weren’t. It’s scary and hard and beyond description-and it’s going to be that way for a long time. Be prepared to feel this way for about 18 months. And do what you can to take care of yourself not just physically (because it’s a painful process getting your body back to full working order) but mentally it takes it toll being afraid all the time.

But stick with it. Get up every morning fully expecting to feel like a failure but don’t give up. Don’t run home and hide in your bedroom. You spent years there-even the hardest day in the Real World beats the best day housebound. I had days where I felt I wouldn’t ever make it through and come out the other side anything less than a shadow of the person l once was. That I’d never feel safe again, or normal, or capable of Being part of the real world again. But I was wrong.

If you can get through the first 18 months then you can do anything. And at the end of it is a place so good you won’t believe it. It’s a place you’ve never dreamt of. A place you are so filled with appreciation for every experience that comes your way, that you will feel bad for those that haven’t been in your shoes and therefore don’t have your seemingly endless capacity for Joy.

It’s all on it’s way to you, so keep that in mind if you aren’t feeling so great right now. I promise it’s only just around the corner.

C xx